Poppy Appeal launches in St Albans and Harpenden

The Right Worshipful the Mayor of St Albans City and District, Councillor Rosemary Farmer places a w

The Right Worshipful the Mayor of St Albans City and District, Councillor Rosemary Farmer places a wreath on the war memorial during the St Albans Remembrance Day Parade 2018. {Craig Shepheard} - Credit: Picture: CRAIG SHEPHEARD

St Albans has launched its annual Poppy Appeal to recognise those who serve in the armed forces.

This year, the Royal British Legion is encouraging the nation to recognise the unseen service and sacrifice of members of the armed forces, both past and present, under the theme of 'Remember Together'.

The fundraising target in St Albans is £85,000, which will go towards the legion's work delivering lifelong support to service and ex-service personnel and their families through hardships, injuries and bereavements.

Gerry McConnell, community fundraiser for Herts, said: "Each day our armed forces provide an incredible service to our country in all kinds of ways, many of which we don't necessarily see, but all of which impact our lives.

"Every donation received will make a real difference, not only to the lives of service men and women and veterans, but to their families as well - who also experience difficulties dealing with the circumstances of a loved one who is serving."

Donations to the Poppy Appeal are used in many ways, including providing crisis grants, sport and art-based recovery programmes, specialist dementia care, lobbying the government on issues that affect the armed forces community and supporting with benefits and money issues.

Legion ambassador and beneficiary Chantelle Wynn received support from the Royal British Legion after her husband Ryan, a reservist in the Territorial Army, took his own life after suffering from PTSD.

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Chantelle said: "When Ryan passed away we thought we had nowhere to turn. However the legion provided essential help in the aftermath, helping with paperwork, supporting me through the inquest and providing us with a holiday to reconnect as a family."

Harpenden's 2019 Poppy Appeal will be launched at the War Memorial in Church Green at 11am on Saturday, October 26. A wooden cross will be planted in the Memorial Garden for those lost in conflict.

On Sunday, November 10 a Remembrance Day parade will meet at 10.15am in Leyton Road and head to the War Memorial for a Service of Remembrance at 10.50am. When the service finishes at 11.30am, the parade will re-form for the mayor's address.